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  • Writer's pictureCrone

Conversations while walking

There is this sense now, when I am walking, that I am in constant conversation with all around me.

I heard a jay right at the start and wondered what had set him off. He seemed, always, just ahead of me. I caught sight of him high in an ash before he flew off along the fence. And, on the way back, another jay... or the same jay, still calling.

I scrambled through a hedge to see an old ash whose burr-covered trunk I thought might be climbable. The ash was amenable and so I set to. It was fun, but for the lack of hand-holds.

This tree is not super healthy, and at the base, a crowd of colourful fungal fruits.

The stream next to the tree, after days of heavy rain, was running faster than I had seen before. I looked at the footprints leading to the crossing places. Wondered if the badgers had to swim.

I found a new oak to climb. It demanded some real pulling with the arms and extreme flexion of the knees. Once up, I was in a nice V, but a random branch was in the way. At one point, in a misguided attempt to get round the branch, I found myself stuck between it and the stem. I imagined calling Leanne... but she couldn't rescue me. It would be the fire brigade. I extricated myself. And descended.

On to Aulus, the Guardian Oak, where climbing is easy. I sat up there in great comfort to have a snack and a drink.

While I was up there, I heard subsong. A robin. Watched the curious little person flitter about and look up at me. Listened to the sweet song. I felt at home.

Eventually, I left but didn't stay on the beaten track. Instead, once again in a hedge a mile maybe further on, I saw another robin, curious and jaunty and close at hand.

I made like a boar and scraped up some earth for her to forage in.

(At home, Bobbit pecked the container of suet pellets, then looked up at me. I took one out and put it on the ground. He ate it, with satisfaction - and no sneezing.)

My final stop, a pretty bridge over a stream, a good place to dream

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